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The Program [Kindle Edition]

Suzanne Young
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.73
You Save: $2.26 (23%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” (Kirkus Reviews), true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in.

And The Program is coming for them.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up-Four years ago, teen suicide became an epidemic, affecting one in every three teens. To combat it, a school district in Oregon developed "The Program," where teens are treated for their depression by erasing their memories and secluding them from their peers. As an increasing number of her classmates are taken away for treatment, 17-year-old Sloane Barstow knows better than to show emotion to anyone other than her boyfriend, James, especially since her brother drowned himself two years earlier, leaving her parents constantly on edge. But when her friend commits suicide and James is taken away, Sloane begins to slip into a depression that forces her into The Program, where she is gradually stripped of all memories of James and her past. As she struggles to start over, she finds herself questioning the integrity of The Program and why she is inexplicably drawn to a troublemaker named James. The story is intriguing, and while a little slow at times, teens will find themselves racing to the finish to see what happens to Sloane and James. Young has created strong characters that readers will fall in love with and has developed a captivating world that will not soon be forgotten. Recommend this one to fans of Lauren Oliver's Delirium and Veronica Roth's Divergent (both HarperCollins, 2011).-Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Hartford Public Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Imagine that suicide is a contagious condition affecting only teenagers. The early warning signs are negative emotions, depression, and despair, and infected teens are driven quickly to the point where they can think of nothing but suicide. This is Sloane’s world. She watched her beloved brother kill himself before her eyes. If not for the love of her boyfriend, James, Sloane is sure that she would kill herself, too. But she and James have vowed to each other that they will fight the disease, and love and comfort each other through grief. Teens seen demonstrating negative emotions are reported to The Program, where they receive the cure for the suicide infection but at a terrible cost. When Sloane finds herself swept into The Program, she realizes with a growing dread that everyone seems to know more than she does. Readers will devour this fast-paced story that combines an intriguing premise, a sexy romance, and a shifting landscape of truth. With big questions still unanswered and promising twists, this first volume in a new series will leave readers primed for more. Compare to Lauren Oliver’s Delirium or Ally Condie’s Matched series. Grades 10-12. --Diane Colson

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject, couldn't put it down! May 4, 2013
By Audra B
The Program exists to save youth from the suicide epidemic that has now grown to an international level. Sloane is passing by with the help of her boyfriend James, which seems to get harder with each passing day with handlers taking those infected to The Program, or others succumbing to the illness.

Reading The Program was like a breath of fresh air in the YA world. So much of this book reminded me of MATCHED, and yet at the same time it didn't. Even the simplistic cover reminded me a bit of it. You've got two people, standing together in solidarity in what seems to be Program uniforms. In the book we have Sloane, fighting against Society for not only her memories but also her friends and family. I don't want to spoil too much, but at times she's even fighting against herself it seems.

Young tackles some pretty deep issues in The Program with everything from teenage love, depression to even sex. The last part surprised me a bit as I couldn't really remember the last, if any, young adult book I read that directly mentions sex like this one does. And I think that's what made this book even more relatable. Young doesn't shy away from these teen issues that are relevant even today. She gets what teens are like, and that comes across so well in the voice of the characters.

The book is set in three parts, each as riveting as the next. There wasn't a single moment in this book where I felt bored or unsure of where things were going. I loved the experience of getting to read this one and can see it as a book I would gladly even re-read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best I've read this year! June 3, 2013
Let me start by saying that The Program has demanded it's way into by top 10 for 2013. I read many books every year but when you get one that screams when opened, I know it will be added to the list of favorites.
My copy is an ARC so I'm not too sure if the published copy is like this, but there are three parts to the story and every part begins at page one, so it's like three stories inside. This is the first I have seen of this and really found it interesting.

The story is about a time when a massively high amount of youth suffer from severe depression and thus, commit suicide if given the opportunity. There has been much work into helping save the kids and close observation is made for everyone. If signs are showing, they are whisked off to a place that everyone in their right mind fears. A place that alters your state of mind, making the children lose their memories and allowing them to return back to their lives as someone that they are not. Someone incredibly different than who they were because they have lost that person along the way. The children are said to be recovered, but anyone in their right mind knows better.

Sloane has had many friends and family that have committed suicide. She has all eyes on her now and can't even get the time she so deserves to grieve for her lost loved ones. She knows that the life she lives will end up getting disrupted and makes quick decision to hide her past so her future won't be left blank. Her journey is far more unpredictable than anyone could imagine.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brave new world for the 21st century May 6, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In *The Program* Suzanne young has written a novel of teen angst that is, remarkable for this day and age, not full of vampires, space aliens and supernatural horrors but instead a fear of society and the police state, where to combat a massive wave of teen suicides the government has set up `the program' which applies mind control drugs to any teen suspected of harboring self destructive thoughts. Attendant from the program can just walk into a school class room and drag out a suspected patient and the teachers don't even bat an eye. Parents fearing for their children might have attendants waiting at home to take kids away, screaming. Of course with this sort of pressure, a fear that any emotion might be misinterpreted, the fear and tension go way up, not down.

Young's book works well. Less "twilight" this reminds me more of the works of Orwell, Huxley and Ann Rand. And that is meant as a compliment. Written in the present tense-a truly awkward style, it keeps that emotionally charged feeling of being in the moment rather than recounting what was done so it drags the reader along with the lead character as she goes through her life trying not to go through `the program.'

The words flow easily but this is not an easy book to read, but it shouldn't be. It is the sort of book that makes you think and you want to scream at parents, teachers and society in the book "can't you see you're making it all worse?" but of course you can't, just as the lead characters can't.

Will this have the same impact as "1984" or "Brave New World"? I want to at once say, `No. Don't be silly.' But then again, you don't know.Iconically in 'Rebel Without a Cause' James Dean screams at his parents how they don't understand him, "Your tearing me apart!
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By KariW
**1 Star**

MY OVERVIEW: Honestly, I don't even know where to begin. I had so many problems with this book and shouldn't have even picked it up when I read the synopsis. But it got a lot of great reviews so I decided to give it a shot.

PROS: A huge apology to the author, but there wasn't any for me. Please, please don't take this the wrong way, the book just wasn't for me.

CONS: Ok, so depression and suicide are the main focus of the book - and the society thinks that they can just erase parts of a person's memory to remove these "tendencies". To me, the way it was written was just a slap in the face to anyone who has experienced true clinical depression. You can't just erase memories and make it go away. Also, the main character's whole life revolves around her boyfriend. Without him - she is nothing. What?!?!? Sorry, but that is wrong on so many levels.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: How I wish I hadn't picked up this book so I didn't have to write this review. Please take it for what it is - I didn't enjoy the book - that doesn't mean you won't. HOWEVER... if you are someone who has suffered from depression - you will probably want to avoid this book. It will only make you upset.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
This is a Must read!!!!!!!! This is a dystopian novel but much better! The ideas are so strange and perfect!!!!!!!!!! Love it so much!!! You need to read this immediately!!! Read more
Published 6 hours ago by meghan miller
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept
Very unique concept and well written but not my cup of tea. Too much idealization of suicide and terror at seeking treatment. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Book Enthusiast
5.0 out of 5 stars book thatmakes you laugh and cry
Amazing book. Made me cry so hard at some parts. I loved it,dystopian books are like my favorite and most just don't have like a believable plague but this this book does I love... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Christina
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This book, this book. I don't even know where to start! It's completely heart breaking and leaves you breathless a great read!
Published 3 days ago by mike reese
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story and amazing start to a new Young Adult series
Teen suicide is a very sensitive subject and the idea of it might keep people away but Young does a very good job at handling the topic. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars In Review: The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young
I originally started reading, er listening to, The Program to prepare to read my ARC of the sequel, The Treatment. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Kim
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Concept
The Program details life in the not so distant future where teen suicide is on the rise and the government has adopted an extreme treatment program to deal with the situation. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Woodstock68
5.0 out of 5 stars So sad, but absolutely amazing
I plan to be a writer one day, and I can only hope to write something so heart breaking and beautiful.
Published 26 days ago by Cami
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
I loved this book. Kept my interest all the way. Can't wait till The Treatment is out! A must buy
Published 27 days ago by Sunny
3.0 out of 5 stars Too touchy feely for me.
It was an ok story wrapped around a love story. A little bit too much sex for the young reader. Nothing graphic but very what the author is talking about. Read more
Published 1 month ago by 224perweek
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More About the Author

Originally from New York, Suzanne Young moved to Arizona to pursue her life-long dream of not freezing to death. She is a high school English teacher and a novelist for teens. When she's not writing, Suzanne can be found searching her tragic (and sometimes awkward) memories for inspiration. She is the author of THE PROGRAM, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, and A WANT SO WICKED. You can visit her online at

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